I noticed some twitterers taking about the beautiful Dublin sky today, and was glad to know that I was not alone in thinking the same thing only yesterday – when there was a blanket of snow on the ground and intermittent glimmer of sunshine peeping through. In fact I felt compelled to take some photos, as I thought the sky looked exquisitely beautiful with its fresh array of intense blue, amidst the grey smokiness and white clouds. It reminded me of the sky in Switzerland in the thick of winter when snow and sunshine meets.
It was snowing in Donnybrook, Dublin, when I looked outdoors on this late March, morning, 2013. So – I captured this somewhat snowy daffodil, as I was reminded of @beannaichte – Alicia’s sister, Sharon – who sadly passed away in recent days. I thought it was an apt moment, as doubtless, snow and daffodil’s – per se – are not usually around together at the same time of year. Not in Ireland, anyway. I also thought the green white and gold very appropriate. The caption on top is taken from a tweet by Alicia. Sincere Condolences Ali. – Marie-Thérèse
PS: The snow has all but disappeared. So this is definitely a moment in time photo that was meant to be.
Story of the relationship between the poets’ Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath.
Sylvia is a 2003 British biographical drama film directed by Christine Jeffs and starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Daniel Craig, Jared Harris, and Michael Gambon. It tells the true story of the romance between prominent poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. The film begins with their meeting at Cambridge in 1956 and ends with Sylvia Plath’s suicide in 1963.
Frieda Hughes, Sylvia and Ted’s daughter, accused the filmmakers of profiting from her mother’s death.
I was reading and commenting at butterfliesandwheels.org What blocks empathy? I noted two interesting comments that struck a chord with me. I shall definitely peruse contents when I get time.
March 25, 2013 at 1:55 pm (UTC -7) Link to this comment
I remember once reading about how sorry for themselves the Nazis felt having to bear feeling it
I think you read that here! Or the old B&W. I’ve talked about it. I got it from Hannah Arendt. (Who is required reading on this subject. As is Montagne, as is Judith Shklar, as is the Milgram experiment.)
A taster from Alice Miller: The Roots of Violence and NOT Unknown.
1. The development of the human brain is use-dependent. The brain develops its structure in the first four years of life, depending on the experiences the environment offers the child. The brain of a child who has mostly loving experiences will develop differently from the brain of a child who has been treated cruelly.
2. Almost all children on our planet are beaten in the first years of their lives. They learn from the start violence, and this lesson is wired into their developing brains. No child is ever born violent. Violence is NOT genetic, it exists because beaten children use, in their adult lives, the lesson that their brains have learned.
3. As beaten children are not allowed to defend themselves, they must suppress their anger and rage against their parents who have humiliated them, killed their inborn empathy, and insulted their dignity. They will take out this rage later, as adults, on scapegoats, mostly on their own children. Deprived of empathy, some of them will direct their anger against themselves (in eating disorders, drug addiction, depression etc.), or against other adults (in wars, terrorism, delinquency etc.)
THOUSANDS of babies disappeared over a 40-year period in Spain, stolen from their mothers and handed over for adoption by the state and the Catholic Church.
The babies were usually put into Catholic orphanages and many went on to become nuns or priests or were adopted, often illegally.
However, when Spain became a democracy after Franco’s death and the law was revoked, the despicable practice continued. This time the babies were not forcibly taken from their parents, but stolen and sold to couples looking to adopt children.
It was a well thought-out operation that involved the collusion of a considerable number of people, particularly in hospitals. Mothers not from the area, and especially if they were poor, were the main targets.
They were told their babies had died and the hospital would take care of the arrangements. Later searches of cemeteries by families revealed no records of births or deaths and undertakers have since revealed the practice of burying little empty coffins.
The well-known Spanish judge, Baltasar Garzon raised the issue of the Franco regime’s baby thefts two years ago when he estimated 30,000 babies were involved.
He is known for trying to have the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet extradited for crimes against humanity and for investigating the execution and disappearance of more than 100,000 Republicans — the losing side in the Spanish civil war
He was prevented from pursuing this under legislation introduced in 1977 declaring an amnesty for all those who committed atrocities during and in the years after the 1936-1939 civil war.
As Spain emerged from 30 years of brutal dictatorship, the politicians who battled against the extremists and the army to introduce democracy decided the best option was to let bygones be bygones.
It has worked to an amazing degree but if you ask enough questions of thoughtful Spaniards they display a deep understanding of their past and the difficulty of keeping it in the past.
In the last few days Spain’s attorney general has ruled there will be no national investigation into the stolen babies. Instead each person will have to pursue his or her own case at local level in an attempt to prevent any national outrage.
One town, La Línea in the southern region of Andalucia, has opened an investigation on foot of complaints by six families about babies disappearing from three clinics in the town.
An organisation, Anadir, has been set up by Antonio Barroso who suspects he was stolen and illegally adopted, and they are taking cases to the courts in a number of regions.
A Basque prosecutor is opening an investigation following a complaint by a woman who thrown out by her family when she became pregnant in the 1980s. She says she was pressurised by a Catholic priest into giving up her baby for adoption — a case that would find resonance in the Ireland of that time.
[This appeared in the printed version of The Irish Examiner Monday, February 07, 2011]